Solidarity 340, 15 October 2014

Help the Kurds against ISIS!

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 12:04 Author: Simon Nelson

Kurds and their supporters demand that the Kurdish Peshmerga, YPG (People’s Protection Units) and other militia be armed with heavy weapons, armour-piercing bullets and tanks in order to resist the ISIS ultra-Islamists who threaten them with massacre in Kobane (near Syria's border with Turkey) and elsewhere.

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Industrial news in brief

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:41

Outsourced workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich employed by ISS struck for the first time in their campaign to win parity of pay, terms and conditions with directly employed NHS staff on October 8.

There were several lively GMB picket lines outside the hospital in Woolwich, South London.

About 50 workers were on the pickets at 9am, and picketing continued late into the evening.

GMB members were also out in force for the national NHS pay strike on 13 October.

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University pension ballot: vote Yes/Yes!

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:28 Author: Lucy Clement

Staff in most pre-92 universities are being balloted for action over massive cuts to their pensions in the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The cuts will see some workers lose over 25% of their income in retirement.

The proposals will end the final salary scheme which was closed to new members and shift everyone onto the poor career average scheme (on terms inferior to TPS, the scheme that covers post-92 universities and school teachers).

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Police kill another black youth in St Louis

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:23 Author: Gemma Short

An off-duty police officer shot dead Vonderrit Myers Jr, an 18 year old black man, in St. Louis, Missouri on Wednesday 8 October.

The unnamed police officer was wearing his police uniform while working for GCI, a private security firm. The practice of police officers taking second jobs as security guards is widespread. GCI alone employed 168 officers in 2012. The wearing of police uniform is permitted by the state police department. It appears that these security firms are often employed to patrol residential streets.

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Philadelphia fights back

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:14 Author: Fran Littler

Philadelphia teachers and students launched a fight back in the week 6-12 October against unprecedented austerity measures affecting teachers’ pay.

The School Reform Commission (SRC), who were put in place to oversee schools in the area which have suffered from low exam scores due to factors including underfunding in the system, has chosen to implement cuts of $54 million to teachers’ contracts to offset the underfunding, leaving them stripped of rights to free health insurance and a subsequent cut to their monthly salary of up to $150.

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Democracy in Donetsk?

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:11 Author: Dale Street

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of the "Donetsk People’s Republic" (DPR) has published a list of the organisations which will not be allowed to participate in the DPR elections on 2 November.

Pavel Gubarev’s "Novorossiya" is among those excluded, although Gubarev is the former "People’s Governor of Donetsk Region" and a regular of Moscow’s television studios.

According to Roman Lyagin, head of the CEC:

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Yes means yes

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 11:08 Author: Charlotte Zalens

California has become the first state in the US to have “yes means yes” consent legislation.

The legislation, which was passed at the end of September, applies to all post-secondary schools and is a result of a drive across America to tackle sexual assault on campuses. California State University and the University of California both already have similar legislation, as have most Ivy League universities in the US.

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"It is the Kurdish people fighting, but this is a much bigger issue": interview with Roza Salih

Submitted by AWL on 15 October, 2014 - 11:06

Roza Salih, who is Vice President Diversity & Advocacy at University of Strathclyde Students' Association in Glasgow and NUS Scotland's International Students' Officer, has been organising protests in solidarity with the Kurdish struggle. She spoke to Solidarity.


Submitted by AWL on Wed, 15/10/2014 - 14:08

Roza Salih – NUS Scotland’s international student’s officer
Motion: Supporting Iraqi International Students

The Scottish Executive Committee Notes:
1.The on-going humanitarian crisis and sectarian polarisation in Iraq - which has resulted to thousands of Yazidi Kurds been massacred.

The Scottish Executive Committee Believes:
1.That Iraqi citizens have suffered for years under the sectarian dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and in the US/UK invasion and occupation of Iraq.
2.That rape and other forms of sexual violence are being used as weapons against Women in IS occupied areas against minorities to ethnically cleanse.

The Scottish Executive Committee Resolves:
1.To work with the International Students' Campaign to support Iraqi students in the UK.
2.To campaign in solidarity with the Iraqi people and in particular support the hard-pressed student, workers' and women's organisations against all the competing nationalist and religious-right forces.
3.To support Iraqis trying to bridge the Sunni-Shia divide to fight for equality and democracy, including defence of the rights of the Christian and Yazidi-Kurd minorities.
4.To condemn the "IS" and support the Kurdish forces fighting against it, while expressing no confidence or trust in the US military intervention.
5.Encourage students to boycott anyone found to be funding ISIS or supplying them with goods, training, travel or soldiers.
6.To meet with Iraqi and Kurdish organisations, in Iraq and here in the United Kingdom, in order to build solidarity and to support refugees.
7.To issue a statement on this basis.

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Bosses get 21% rise

Submitted by Matthew on 15 October, 2014 - 10:58 Author: Matt Cooper

Despite much sound and fury over government regulations on the reporting and control of executive pay announced in 2012, bosses’ pay continues to run ahead of workers’.

The median pay of directors of big companies (FTSE 100) is now £2,433,000; of chief executives, £3,344,000. Last year, so a report from Income Data Services shows, they got a 21% rise: median salary increased by 2.5%, bonuses by 12%, and incentive payments in the form of shares by 44%.

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